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Proper Sanitation Facilities

Adapted from content excerpted from Better Work, a partnership of IFC and the International Labour Organization

People need clean, sanitary toilet facilities. Proper facilities let workers and buyers know that the employer is concerned about employee safety and well-being.

Conversely, poorly maintained toilets and sinks are a primary cause for poor health among workers. As a result, non-appropriate sanitation facilities may be a serious impediment to labour productivity. To ensure that a sufficient level of hygiene is established throughout the factory, toilet facilities must be of reasonable quality, well stocked, cleaned and maintained regularly.


✓ Contributes to a lower incidence of employee illness, and less employee absenteeism.

✓ Improves morale among factory workers, which contributes to higher productivity.

✓ Promotes a positive impression of the factory to buyers.

✓ Hand-washing facilities prevent the spread of disease and illness, and allows workers who work with chemicals to minimize chemical absorption through their hands.

Good practices for establishing proper sanitation facilities

• Toilets should be available on each floor and building on the factory premises.

• Generally, provide two toilets for every 40 men and for every 30 women. Provide a sink for every fifteen workers.

• Male and female workers should have separate toilets.

• Toilets should be equipped with ample amounts of soap, water, and toilet paper to ensure good hygiene practices.

• The floor must be clean and free from slippery areas.

• Washrooms should contain mirrors, rubbish bins, and ample water.


• Workers must have access to toilets without unreasonable restrictions.

• Toilets must be regularly cleaned (at least once a day).

• Toilets should have lockable doors, proper lightning, waterproof floors and walls and a proper drainage system.

• Make sure surfaces are smooth and easy to clean – tiles are a good surface material.

• Ensure that the room has proper drainage to minimize maintenance cost.

Costs: Low – Medium

Copyright © 2010-2016, International Finance Corporation and International Labour Organization. All Rights Reserved.

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